by Lynn Dang
Over 8,000 coffees, 10,000 sushi rolls, 14,000 sandwiches, and 5,500 burritos.
All delivered by robot – untouched by humans. San Francisco startup Starship Technologies has made the world’s first delivery robot. And the company’s next stop is the University of Pittsburgh. Designed to improve the everyday life of users, Starship’s mission is to “give time back to people,” said VP of Marketing Henry Harris-Burland, “Whether you’ve had a long night and want breakfast delivered or you’re up late studying and need some refreshments, our delivery robots are here to help.”
Founded in 2014, Starship Technologies spent the first half of life on testing and perfecting the robots’ autonomous capabilities. To ensure understanding in different environments, terrians, and weather, testing was done in over 20 countries. In April 2018, the company turned into a full blown commercial delivery service. Today, it operates 24/7 across the United States, the United Kingdom, Estonia, and Germany. The easy action of downloading the “Starship – Deliveries” app on iOS or Android enables people all over the world to use these autonomous delivery robots.
Starship plans to bring their pioneering robots to 100 campuses within the next 24 months. From the app, users can access a variety of local merchants to order food and beverages, drop a pin on a map, and track the robot’s progress as it drives to them. The robot’s sensors and detection system allows it to adjust speed and direction as needed. With the ability to travel at night, through rain and snow, across streets, and over curbs, users can order from a variety of locations.
Starship’s expansion to the University of Pittsburgh was made possible through a partnership with Sodexo. Recently, Starship completely mapped Pitt’s campus to ensure that the robots could move autonomously. Students, faculty, and staff can now access Oakland’s businesses in the app and place an order for the low delivery fee of $1.99.
As one of the first campuses that Starship Deliveries is serving, Pitt is part of the beginning of this delivery revolution. “We are proud to be a part of the Pitt community and work with this city,” said Harris-Burland.